An estimated two hundred and ninety six bones and 250 stone tools meant for cutting, chopping into slices and hammering of animal bones were dug by archaeologists at Ain Boucherit in Eastern Algeria.
One characteristic of the animal bones excavated by the researchers was the precision with which they were cut and how meat was scooped out of the carcasses.
Lead archaeologist, Mohammed Sahnouni, said they were amazed at the technological development of early men who inhabited the Ain Boucherit region.
According to nature asia, the stone tools are two million years old, by far the oldest discovery of such nature in the region.
The findings which were published in Science lend credence to the heightened knowledge of prehistoric men in using sharpened stone tools to serve their needs.
Sahnouni, who is also the coordinator of an investigation of prehistoric technology at the national. Enter for the investigation of human evolution, said the technology they developed made it easy for them to process their meat when they kill their game.
He disclosed that the animal bones, stone tools and other equipment were excavated in a day at Ain Boucherit, giving the sense of the quantum of game killed and how it was butchered.
The researchers named the stone tools found in Algeria – Oldowan – after the first archaeological site in Tanzania where stone tools were spotted in 1930s.
The archaeologists dated the stone tools found in East Africa’s Olduvai as being 200,000 years old. It bore some similarity with the stone tools dug from the Algeria site.
Mohammed said there is considerable evidence of ample knowledge in preparing sharp rocks for use for their daily needs by early men in parts of Africa.
He said when they conducted analysis on the stone tools excavated from east Algeria, it was 2,000,000 years old.
He said though the animal bones had been buried in the earth for ages, it never lost its clear cut marks subjected it by the stone tools.
If the evidence is anything to go by, it makes the early men who lived at Ain Boucherit good butchers who paid extra attention on how they sharpened by their tools.
Mohammed said the findings from east Algeria has challenged initial notion that East Africa was the home of such advanced technology developed by early men.
He explained that there might have been diffusion of innovation from East Africa to North Africa or Tanzania and Algeria prehistoric men developed these technologies at the same period in time.
He indicated that it is suggestive of human culture to evolve of time and spread to other parts of the world.
Shannon McPherron, Max Planck evolutionary anthropologist, is of the view the stone tool technology could have been pioneered independent of each geographical area and evolved over a period of time.
He explained that there is the likelihood of the knowledge of the technology over a period of time and implemented, but, phased away and resurfaced in other regions.
The research team indicated that they have not been able to establish that the early men in east Algeria engaged in hunting of animals.
They are however hopeful that they could stumble on new evidence of remains at the Ain Boucherit site and could fill the missing gap like was the case in East Africa.